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Soyuz rocket launches six satellites

RIA Novosti

11:20 17/12/2011

MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Soyuz rocket took off on Saturday from Europe’s space base in French Guiana, carrying six military satellites.

The launch was the second-ever of the veteran rocket from the European Space Agency’s pad in Kourou, following a successful mission to deliver two European Galileo navigation satellites into orbit via another launcher in October.

Lift-off occurred at 02:03 GMT on Saturday.

The Soyuz ST-A successfully hauled the six satellites to orbit, including France’s Pleiades 1 high-resolution imaging satellite.

Pleiades, which took the French Space Agency (CNES) nearly a decade to develop, is designed for both civilian and defense image gathering.

The payload also included a small Earth-observation satellite for the Chilean military called SSoT; and four Elisa micro radar eavesdropping satellites for the French military.

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